NASSAU — The government may soon prosecute shantytown landowners who have not met environmental and building standards, Minister of Environment and Housing Ken Dorsett said yesterday.
Environmental and health notices issued to landowners of a Joe Farrington Road shantytown expired more than a month ago and Dorsett said the next step is court action.
“The initial notices served made provision for a time frame,” Dorsett said outside the Churchill Building. “That expired and when they don’t comply we then begin the legal process for prosecution.”
“With respect to the Joe Farrington Road shantytown,” he added, “the Ministry of Works has also completed its assessment and has begun the process of completing its notices to serve on the owners and occupants of that shantytown, together with the fact that the attorney general’s office and the attorney in my ministry are in the process of completing the summonses. So it’s a work in progress.”
A fire tore through that community last month, leaving more than 100 people homeless and more than 30 structures razed.
The landowners’ attorney, Senator John Bostwick, has said his clients are not “overly concerned” about the government’s threat of prosecution.
But Dorsett said the land in question still has structures that do not meet governmental standards.
“I continue to have a dialogue with Senator Bostwick’s clients. They have been co-operative to the extent that they took it upon themselves to serve notices of eviction on those persons who occupy their land. (Nassau Guardian)